Best of 2014 Blog Hop + Giveaway: Day 10 – Favorite Overall Reads

We have read some great books in 2014 but here is the list of books that topped the rest. 

Ali’s Favorite Reads:

    

1 – Bang by E.K. Blair
2 – The Replacement by Rachael Wade
3 – Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover
4 – The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
5 – Love, In English by Karina Halle

Debbie’s Favorite Reads:

    

1 – Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
2 – Love, in English by Karina Halle
3 – The King by J.R. Ward
4 – Missionary Position by Daisy Prescott
5 – Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

 Hop through to the other blogs to see their lists too!

 

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Check back everyday for a new list!

Question: 
What was your overall favorite book of 2014?


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Review: Better When He’s Bold by Jay Crownover

Review: Better When He’s Bold by Jay CrownoverBetter When He's Bold by Jay Crownover
Series: Welcome to the Point #2
February 3, 2015
Genres: Romantic Suspense, New Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Better When He's Brave (Welcome to the Point, #3)
Also by this author: Asa

Some men are just better when they're bold.

Welcome to the Point...

In a dark and broken kingdom, a ruler has to be fearless to control the streets and the ruthless people who run them.

Race Hartman is just bold enough, just smart enough, and just lost enough to wear the crown. Places like the Point will always have bad things and bad people, but the man in control of all that badness can minimize the devastation. Race has a plan, but can he prevent total annihilation without destroying himself?

Brysen Carter has always seen her best friend's brother for what he is--too pretty, too smooth, and way too dangerous to touch. Basking in Race's golden glow is very tempting, but Brysen knows she'd eventually get burned.

When she starts receiving threatening texts and someone tries to take her out in parking lot, the only person interested in keeping her safe is the one man she can't allow herself to have.

Sometimes being bold is the only way to stay alive. But can she let Race save her life . . . if it means losing herself to him?

 

I’ve officially been injected with the Crownover Love Virus and I don’t want a cure.
 
The Marked Men series may be where she started, where many fans fell in love with her, but Welcome to The Point is just… So. Much. More.  It has her same signature style, quirky names, lovably flawed characters.  What The Point brings is an element of dirty, raw, exciting vulnerability.
 
And Race Hartman is the current ruler of it all.  For now.

 

 

Race is very much like the city he wants to keep in a tenuous balance.  He’s brave, he’s strong, but he’s not all together good.  He’ll do what is necessary to take what he needs and what he wants.  Crownover writes him with a delicate balance.  It could be quite easy to dislike him but as you learn more and more of him, it’s next to impossible to not fall hard for the guy that just wants to keep everyone safe.  By any means necessary.
 
His quiet moments with Brysen really bring out a tenderness in him that I loved.  Brysen herself has those similar moments.  She starts off as such a little firecracker, and while that never really goes away, she does show a softer, broken side to herself.  One that she hides from others but Race really breaks down her walls.

 

It was placing these two characters, each with problems and secrets, in a place like the Point where secrets and lies are like currency – that created reading magic for me.  You have two seemingly very pretty, polished people in such a dark and dangerous atmosphere.  That shit just makes me tingle.
 
I loved the drama, the twists, the suspense.
 
I swear, this series is like a drug for me and I’m ready for another hit.

 

About Jay Crownover

I’m supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I’m an natural redhead even though I haven’t seen my real hair color in years, I’m a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I’m interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


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Best of 2014 Blog Hop + Giveaway: Day 9 – Favorite Covers

 
 
 
 
 

Hop through to the other blogs to see their lists too!

 

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Check back everyday for a new list!

Question: 
What were your favorite book covers of 2014?


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Review ~ The Phoenix Candidate: The Pawn by Heidi Joy Trethaway

Series: Grace Colton #1
Release Date:  January 12, 2015
Genre:  Adult Erotica
Source:  Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★★

Fans of Scandal, House of Cards, and The Good Wife will love Grace Colton…

U.S. Congresswoman Grace Colton is the most famous woman in politics—and the loneliest—until a drawling, sexy stranger offers her one night: no strings and no regrets. And it rocks her world.

Grace
wakes to an empty hotel room and a phone call. The dark horse for the
2016 presidential election, Senator Shep Conover, is considering her as
his vice presidential running mate.

Before she can be selected,
Grace must be vetted and coached by Shep’s political consultant, Jared
Rankin, who already knows too many intimate details about her. He’s Mr. One-Night Stand.

Grace
is torn: play nice with Jared to join the senator’s ticket, or play
hardball and back the slick frontrunner? As the Democratic National
Convention approaches, Grace must decide where her loyalties lie and if
she can trust Jared with her future—and her heart.

The Phoenix Candidate is an adult erotic romance recommended for mature readers.

If you asked me to give you one word for The Phoenix Candidate: The Pawn, it would be Supersexysmart!  That’s a word right?  Okay, smart. The word would be smart. Final answer.

It puts erotica in a whole new light. If you need a real substantial story with your dose hot sex, look no further. Trethaway packs quite a political punch into The Phoenix Candidate.

When an anonymous one night stand ends up being the campaign manager for the president hopeful who is looking at you as a running mate…things get pretty muddy, pretty quickly.

That’s only a bit of the trouble though, this is D.C. where sabotage and intrigue rule the games.  Grace is thrown in the deep end with Jared as her only lifeline…a guy she barely knows and isn’t sure she can trust.  A man that pushes her buttons, challenges her every way, and makes her heart stutter more than she could have ever expected.

I loved the political plot of this story.  It’s so different than most romance and erotica titles flooding the market right now. It kept the story happening outside of the bedroom very exciting.  I also really liked that Grace really struggled to stay true to herself in a life that is all about gaining the upper hand.  Shit…if only we had more politicians like her in Washington.

Where the story lost a little luster, for me, was with Jared.  Through most of the book, I didn’t trust him, which is probably the point.  Not knowing if you should like and trust him adds to the drama of the story.  But, even when he did show some relationship stamina, I still didn’t find myself on board with him.  I couldn’t bring myself to believe his interest in Grace. I can’t put my finger on it, it’s just a feeling that is there.  Maybe I’m just a really distrusting person.  However, it only makes me want to read the next book even more…to see if he’s really a bit shady or if I just need more time with him and Grace.

Regardless of my leeriness towards Jared, this is a great start to what I think will prove to be a very intelligent sexy tale of desire, conspiracy, loyalty and love.


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Review: The Pact by Karina Halle

Series: Standalone
Release Date: December 28, 2014
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: From Author for Review
Rating: ★★★★ ½
It all started with a pinky swear…
Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.
Beautiful, funny and an ambitious businesswoman (with one hell of an ass), Stephanie Robson is one of Linden McGregor’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as he’s known her.
But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed.
Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them are in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.
It sounds like fun and games but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.
Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.
The pact is about to change everything.

There’s something about friends to lovers romances that always grabs my attention. Stories that center around this romance trope not only focuses on the budding love story, but the strong ties of friendship that exists between two people. Karina Halle exhibits this perfectly in THE PACT, where two best friends make a promise to marry each other if they both aren’t in serious relationships by the time they turn thirty. At the time the pact is made, neither really takes the pact all too seriously; but as the years go by, and the idea of it coming true, their story becomes more intense and turns into a page-turning romance that I could not put down. 

“If neither of us are in a serious relationship by the time we are both thirty,” he says, looking at me so dead in the eye that I can’t help but hold my breath, “then we agree to marry each other. Agree?”

I find my voice. “Agree.”

Told in dual POV, Halle takes us through the duration of Stephanie Robson and Linden McGregor’s friendship. The book starts off with the night Linden proposes the pact to Stephanie when they are both twenty-five years old, and then moves us along through the years until they turn thirty. Nothing really changes between Stephanie and Linden after they make the pact. They continue with their lives, pursue their dreams and stay the best of friends like they’ve always been. Linden eventually gets his pilots license and Stephanie fulfills her dream of owning her own clothing store. But even with all of the professional goals they had accomplished Stephanie and Linden each failed to fulfill one aspect of their lives – their love lives. As the two get older and closer to their thirty year landmark, Stephanie and Linden both start to think more about the pact they had made all those years ago, and wonder if it would be possible to be in a relationship with your best friend. 

Sometimes, when he looks at me, I can swear something in him has changed. The glances are more intense, his eyes seem molten and charged. Sexual.

And I like it. I love it. I want it. I want there to be this change, for this to be a thing because then maybe, maybe I would act on it. Maybe I would take that chance and turn him into something more than a friend.

One of the things that I loved about THE PACT is that Halle lets Stephanie and Linden go on with their lives like how it was naturally supposed to go even without the pact. It never felt like they were being forced to be this couple in a time of their lives when they weren’t supposed to. They each needed to grow up a little more and learn how how to make relationships work. They needed this time to figure out that the thing they had been searching for had always been around but they were too scared to take the chance. Even though they might have been in different relationships throughout the years, Stephanie and Linden’s friendship stood the test of time. They had some rough moments with cheating boyfriends or bitchy girlfriends, but they continued to be there for each other, like how friends should be. 
The romance between Stephanie and Linden was really palpable and realistic. The banter between these two was so much fun to read. Linden always had something quick witted to day and Stephanie always had  The little crushes here and there, and the shared glances really made for some great sexual tension throughout the book. Halle does a great job of building up the tension between these two that by the time they actually get together, a dam was about ready to burst out of my chest. The first time these two kissed, I was ready to start singing hallelujah and praise the lord. When Linden lets his sexual prowess loose on Stephanie, my panties self-destructed. The filthy mouth on that Scottie is so damn hot. Every dirty word that came out of his mouth had my face burning up. Seriously, this hot Scottie can talk dirty to me any time he wants. 
Karina Halle shows us a new dimension to her writing talent in THE PACT, and demonstrates that she can do the light and “fluffy” romance without compromising her integrity. For a writer that’s well-known for darker and grittier stories, Halle does exceptionally well with the fun and light hearted contemporary romance. The chemistry between Linden and Stephanie crackles with pure energy and intensity that it was impossible for me to put this page-turning romance down. Like with all Karina Halle books, Stephanie and Linden’s story hits you hard but also leaves you feeling fulfilled and giddy with every bit of goodness that it comes with. The book was filled with lots of great moments where you witness the strong bond between Stephanie and Linden, and also the moments where you just wanted to bash their heads in. Their journey to love wasn’t easy or stress free, it was filled with lots of highs, lows, and lots of emotions. Halle doesn’t just let them reach their HEA overnight, she makes them work for it and puts them through some tests before they get to the point where you want to skip and prance with glee. THE PACT is an electrifying sweet, fun, and sizzling romance that no new or seasoned romance reader should miss. I highly suggest that you pick this book up today and end your year on a high note.


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Reveal: Hunting Season: Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford

Hunting Season
Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter, Vol. 4
Publication: March 3, 2015

Better to be a hunter, not prey.

Ever since her partner was kidnapped, Aurora Sky has been on
a personal mission to get him back. To do that she needs the vampire
responsible for destroying her life.

In order to have a snowball’s chance at success, she’ll have
to team up with her most loyal friends—including a certain vampire in black
with a provoking talent for distraction.

Old cravings aren’t easily quenched, nor past passions. With
knowledge comes danger and Aurora is at risk on all sides.

Pre-order on Amazon or sign up for a Release Alert to receive links to Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks. Add at Goodreads.

Cover design: Phatpuppy Art. Photography: Teresa Yeh. Typography: Najla Qamber Designs. Models: Gabriella and Lee.


About the Author:

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan, born & raised in Anchorage, now living in northern Washington state. She loves meeting people from all walks of life, from around the globe, and wouldn’t trade her French husband in for anyone–not even Spike! The dark side of humanity fascinates her, so long as it’s balanced by humor and romance.

Stop by and say hi to Nikki on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and Goodreads.


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Best of 2014 Blog Hop + Giveaway: Day 8 – Favorite Indie Books/ Authors

One theme you might have noticed in all of our Best of 2014 lists is that we love reading indie books. We have a major love affair going on with indie books and love supporting the community that has brought us so many hours of reading pleasure. There are so many great indie authors out there for you all to discover and here’s a list of authors that we totally adored in 2014…

Ali’s Favorite:

1 – JA Huss
I’ve been a fan of JA’s for a couple of years for a few reasons but the main one is that she consistently surprises me.  She pumps books out like it’s easy but they never follow any cookie cutter lines. There is always some twist, some mystery, some connection that amazes me.

2 – Ilsa Madden-Mills
Ilsa was my favorite ‘new’ author in 2013 with Very Bad Things. My love for her and her writing has only grown in 2014.  Not only does she excel at writing heartfelt stories, but she is truly a sweet and caring person. 

3 – Lexi Ryan
I had not read anything by Lexi before 2014 but have read quite a bit of her this year. She gives these wonderfully flawed characters, but flawed in such relatable ways.  I never fail to have my tar black heart give a stutter when reading her books.  

4 – R.K. Lilley
I think Lilley will continually rank pretty high on my favorite author lists.  She’s never fails to bring something new and creative to her writing. Usually in the form of a sexual act, which I will never stop loving! 😉

5 – Krista & Becca Richie
These ladies! My eye caught on them at first when they delivered a book about a slut and lush. Which I adored. Then they delivered all these other wonderful characters surrounding said slut and lush and I adored all of them too.  Some of my all time favorite characters come from the wonderful minds of these two ladies.

Debbie’s Favorite:

1 – Mia Sheridan 
You might have seen Mia’s Archer’s Voice pop up in a few of my Best of 2014 picks. Archer’s Voice was the first book of Mia’s that I ever read, and I become an instant fan of this author even before I finished Archer’s Voice. Bree and Archer’s story will forever be one of my favorite stories ever and I am so glad to have discovered Mia this year.

2 – Ilsa Madden-Mills

I first became a fan of Ilsa Madden-Mills when I read Very Bad Things last year. The she came out with Very Wicked Things and my love for this author was solidified. Ilsa does a magnificent job in making you give a damn about all her characters. You can’t help but love them all. 



3 – Daisy Prescott
Daisy Prescott is one of the finest gems that I discovered this year. Her Modern Love Stories series is one of my favorite series from 2014, and books that I highly recommend for everyone to read. If you love strong heroines and love stories that will make your heart flutter then you need to read her books. They are absolutely fabulous and she’s as fabulous in person. 


4 – R.K. Lilley
I first fell in love with R.K. Lilley when I read her Up in the Air series last year, and have been in love with her ever since. When it comes to writing hot and sexy romance, this woman knows how to do it! Reading any of her books will get your body temperature sky rocketing and make you want to take a dip in a artic pool as soon as your done. She’s (along with her hubby, Chris) one of the most genuinely nice and fun person you will ever meet.


5 – Tara Sivec

Tara Sivec has the distinct honor of being the only author that has ever had me laughing so hard from her book that I peed my pants. For serious. From Passion & Ponies to her Fool Me Once series, this author definitely knows how to bring on the LOLs. If you have not read Tara Sivec then you’re totally missing out on the fun times. 
 Hop through to the other blogs to see their lists too!

 

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Check back everyday for a new list!

Question: 
Who were your favorite Indie Authors in 2014?


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